National Brand & Strategy

Aron McKague

Photo of Aron McKague
Photo of Aron McKague
Logo for the McKague Group
Logo for the McKague Group

Aron McKague is the head of National Brand & Strategy for Autism Speaks Canada, the leading autism organization in Canada.

Since joining Autism Speaks Canada in 2020, he has elevated their public-facing brand touchpoints and grown the brand's reach by +35.1%. He manages both creative and corporate communications, taking ownership of brand KPIs and overseeing end-to-end tentpole marketing campaigns.

The leading autism organization in Canada, I supported our growth as the #1 share of voice.

In my role I successfully managed a bilingual communications portfolio of 18M national reach, 8.5M annual social impressions, and 484K annual website views. I have grown the brand's reach by +35% since 2020.
• Reported to the Director of Marketing and oversaw marketing specialists across Canada. Worked with cross-functional teams to achieve communication goals.
• Executed social and digital marketing campaigns that leveraged insights in creative collateral, ad copy, and audience segmentation, achieving a -34.1% reduction in cost per acquisition.
• Developed email marketing campaigns that increased email open rate by +12% and click-through rate by +67%.
• Increased overall website traffic by +25% year-over-year. Redesigned the user flow of webpages, which increased time-on-page audience retention by +18%.
• Introduced new channels for event promotion of Canada’s #1 autism walk, which increased registration by +39%.
• Collaborated with key corporate partners (Samsung, TD Bank, Toys R Us, Pepsi Co.) to drive social impact.
• Developed and executed philanthropy campaigns for sustainable revenue generation (+150% YoY donations and +225% sponsorship).
• Engaged in public relations activities, ranging from press releases to monitoring channels. Conducted both internal and external communication to maintain the #1 share of voice within our sector.
Out-of-Home Advertising

Manage end-to-end delivery of Out-Of-Home campaigns, from setup to post-analysis, optimizing creative to achieve desired metrics.

• Daily circulation of over 228K people reached with billboards, digital displays, and street furniture across Canada during World Autism Month and End of Year.
Annual Reports, Corporate Communications, & Sponsorship Documents

Develop, write, and enhance content for various corporate communications, ensuring they are digestible for stakeholders and sponsors. Writing clear, consistent, and concise bilingual communications with proficiency in English and French.

• My redesign of our Annual Report resulted in high shares among our audience, with a +120.4% increase in page views of the Financial and Annual Report page, compared to the same period with the previous report.
Press Releases

Draft, edit, and publish press releases. Distribute on the Canada Newswire. Collaborate with stakeholders to deliver on-message communications for public-facing channels. Ensure the tone and writing style express and elevate the brand voice. Respond to media requests and public relations inquiries. Oversee campaigns to enhance the company's reputation and visibility.

• Monitor and track our brand presence in the market. Autism Speaks Canada has the highest share of voice at 22.8% among Canadian autism organizations.
Web Development, Content Management, UX Design, & Analytics

Develop and maintain SEO-optimized, conversion-focused websites. Embrace Human-Centered Design (HCD) and research to develop intuitive digital interactions. Employing User Experience workflows from wireframes, prototypes, user flows, and site maps to build responsive mobile-friendly webpages in both English and French. Leverage analytic tools like Google Analytics (GA4) to identify insights and generate performance tracking reports.

Redesign the user flow of our mission pillar webpages resulting in a +18.4% increase in time-on-page (audience retention). Launched as part of a larger integrated marketing campaign for EOY. Collaborating with cross-functional teams to incorporate feedback, insights, and testing from donors and stakeholders.

• Achieve a +25% increase in overall website unique viewers year-over-year.
Television & Digital Video

Direct and coordinate the end-to-end production of many TV advertisements. Storyboarding, audio mixing, videography, motion graphics, editing, captioning, and produce to network standards. Airing on CTV, Canada's leading news network.

Support the film production of Life on the Spectrum, an episodic documentary series sharing the lived experiences of autistic Canadians and their families, from coast-to-coast.

• Secure +23.48% increase in watch time for the latest episode in the documentary series.
Display Ads

Drive brand awareness and recognition for effective lead generation through display ad networks. Track and optimize channel performance through segmentation, keywords, placements, and creative to drive funnel conversions.

• Drive 2.5K clicks on average through display ad spots on National Post affiliates and The Globe and Mail website.
• Achieve +66% higher CTR than previous charity run placements on Canadian Running Magazine website.
Print Ads

Engage cross-channel synergy through integrated marketing campaigns that bridge print placements with digital and social media. Build awareness and interest with sponsored editorial content and ad space. Work with publications, media buyers and contacts to procure effective placements.

• National readership of 4.9M reached through print ads in The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star newspapers.
Social Media

Manage the execution, optimization, and reporting of paid and organic social media campaigns. Allocate budgets, analyze, and recommend modifications to ad spends. Conduct A/B creative tests, audience segmentation, and personalization. Continuously optimize marketing activities to improve return on investment. Utilize performance-based marketing to meet KPIs.

• 8.48M impressions, consistently growing with a +4% average increase year-over-year across platforms.
• Leverage performance insights in creative collateral, ad copy, and audience segmentation, resulting in a -34.1% reduction in cost per acquisition for our EOY 2023 campaign.

Coordinate the execution, optimization, and reporting of email marketing campaigns to increase visitors and drive funnel conversions. Provide reporting, metrics, and improvements to email campaigns to grow the marketable email list and improve email metrics. Drive email channel performance through effective strategy, content, and segmentation.

• Achieve a 28.78% open rate, higher than the industry benchmark of 25.17%,
• Drive higher click-through rates than our industry: 8.41% click-through rate in 2021 compared to 2.79% benchmark
Scroll the two windows above to view the contents of the emailS
Reports, Infographics, Government Relations & Policy Development

Work with teams from McMaster University and the Autism Alliance of Canada on the Pandemic Canadian Autism Needs Assessment to inform policy direction and development. Responsible for developing a bilingual 360° campaign shared with government officials, stakeholders, and industry partners. Involving reports, infographics, motion graphics, social media, emails, and web design.

From time to time, engage with Members of the House of Commons and Senators during work-related travel and events.
Senator Leo Housakos, in 2023, announcing the development of a federal framework for the Canadian Government's National Autism Strategy. I handled the event design and promotion.
Event Promotion & Design

Manage the integrated marketing campaign for Canada's #1 walk for autism. Diverse channel mix from email marketing, social media, display ads, search engine marketing, out-of-home, radio, television, and print. Collect, analyze, and interpret data from digital analytics data sets. Provide actionable insights to inform business decisions and growth strategy. Continuously optimize marketing mix to maximize return on investment and achieve key performance metrics.

Ideate and design merchandise from embroidered hats to graphic shirts. Brand pop up canopy tents, publicity backdrop banners, flags, and signage for events and photography.

• Achieve 39.7% YoY growth in participant registrations at event launch.

Radio promotion on The Beat 92.5 Montreal

One of the merchandise pieces I designed

Before My Tenure
vs. After


When I joined the organization in 2020, the marketing team was undergoing a rebrand and trying to find their voice. As you can see below, these assets are from a 12-month period before my tenure. Their consumer-facing brand was hindering their authority in the nonprofit space; it was outdated and impeding growth opportunities to reach new markets and audiences.
Art Direction
Under My Stewardship


Joining the organization, I overtook the art direction of the brand. Extending and evolving the brand system, while adhering to brand guidelines and ensuring consistency.
Working in a wide range of mediums, from digital to traditional. Bringing new skills to the team and extending the brand into new channels such as television, motion graphics, and digital video. This led the organization to no longer require the services of their ad agency.
As a creative leader, I manage and contribute to the work of others, elevating the quality of ideas and delivery. I steward the look and feel of the Autism Speaks Canada brand, achieving an incredibly high standard and positioning us as the #1 autism brand in Canada.

Photography shot by Aron McKague (centre & right).

People-centered, marketing leader with nearly 4 years of work experience in Non-Profit Advocacy and Philanthropy for English and French-Speaking Canadians.

I am a creative marketing lead performing at an Art Director level at Autism Speaks Canada—Canada’s #1 autism organization—stewarding the brand and elevating the work of other designers to the highest standard in the industry.
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